Ok, I’ll stop with the basketball after today. Maybe. 🙂
I’m an Iowa Hawkeye fan, so having them win an NCAA game on a last second shot Friday night, meant I could watch them on network TV this afternoon. We don’t have cable/dish, and living in the country, our DSL package is pretty slow, so anytime I can catch them on “free” TV is a good day.
Well, I missed the first half because of church, and by the time I got the game on, it was half time, and the game was basically over. From the highlights, my 8th grade girls might have given them a good game with the mental errors I saw (and we struggled this year!). Down 25, I did not watch much of the second half.
That leads me to my title. We Iowans have a bit of an infeority complex (rightfully so), so three teams winning on the first today of the tournament was pretty sweet. Iowa State (I guess I can root for them now) won yesterday, so they were in the Sweet 16. With Iowa out, my next favorite team are the University of Northern Iowa Panthers, winners of their first game Friday night on a last second, half court shot.
Again, no cable, so I found the “voice of the Panthers” on TuneIn, and started listening, with about 10 minutes left and UNI up by 10. Playing great, hitting threes, but never quite pulling away and icing the game. Well, the coach in me was right. UNI is up 10 with maybe a minute and thirty seconds left and the wheels came off. Turnovers, poor decisions, and just a lack of disciple (from a team that had been discipled the whole game) created a tie game at the end of regulation. Five minutes of back and forth, second overtime. And here, the finally nails were laid and the Pathers, 90 seconds from victory, lost.
I feel for this team. They had the game won, plain and simple. As a coach, I’ve been there. I still feel my heart start to race thinking about two games, one from three years, the other, my first year of teaching. Both, defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory. Both games make me stomach churn, many years later.
I feel for this team. Tomorrow will be a little easier, but this will sting for a long time.